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My girlfriend and I just bought a GSD. He's 8 weeks old and we're just starting with his training. We plan on him being an outside dog, thus he'll live in my second garage. However, we plan the leave the garage door open so he can go in and out to use the restroom as needed. Also, its a big garage and a bit of a storage room, with plenty of room for him to sneak off and potty behind boxes. Any ideas on how to keep him from pottying in the garage and instead going outside?

As of now, we're kennel training. But he potties a lot and unfortunately he still has occasional accidents when we let him out to play in the house. He's been on soft food and we think that's part of his potty problem. I recently read some soft foods can be unhealthy, so we're weening him over to Beneiful puppy food. I don't know if this helps with training suggestions or not...
 

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Why get a dog if you're just going to banish him to being outside? I never understood why people do that.

Dogs are pack animals - they want to be with their pack aka you. Why not just set up something inside like a crate where they can sleep comfortable near it's pack?
 

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Well, they'll be with my siblings (2 younger brothers, and a younger sister) whenever they're out of school. The only time he'd be in his garage would be when we're all out at school.. Other than that, he'd be hanging out with us.
 

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Why not just buy a crate and have him stay in there? A good crate can be the best thing you buy for a puppy if used correctly.

Are you familiar with crate training and how to go about doing it?

My lucy is almost 3 years old and she still goes in her crate when no ones around to supervise. It's her own special little safe place and she knows it and loves it. I'll probably use it throughout her whole life and the best part of it... it's indoors. The nice, climate controlled, near her family, indoors!
 

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I agree with Lucydog. An 8 week old puppy is a baby and needs to be with its pack. I'm sorry, but living in a garage is **** for a GSD(and every other breed) Can you trust that your younger brother and sister will keep the dog safe, make sure he doesn't get into anything....garages are full of poison to a puppy.

Beneful dog food is horrible, please take some time here reading the puppy threads, nutrition threads, training and every other thread you can find time to read.

You are setting this poor puppy up to fail if you are planning on doing what you've posted in your above writing. Please, please educate yourself and your family.
 

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As everyone stated this people needs to be with people...especially gsds. As Onyx said that is a horrible food...stay away from grocery store foods they are crap. Get him on a good kibble. Typcially you should do a slow gradual switch but since he's not even on one you'll have to deal with loose stool until he gets use to the new kibble.

Alos he's a BABY, he is going to have accidents at this age. He has a tiny bladder and will go often. You don't expect a human baby to be potty trained for a couple of years, give you puppy a couple of months. Most puppies can hold their bladder through the night by 4 months, gsd's tend to be earlier than that. It is up to you to teach him where he should go. Take him outside when he wakes up and after he eats and many times in between. PRAISE him anytime he goes outside.
 

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German Shepherds are one of the most needy breeds in my experience. They NEED to be with people. Our dogs aren't allowed in our living room, and they know it, but Jackson will sneak across the floor trying to go unnoticed if we are in there, just so he can be next to us. If you have the puppy in the garage, be prepared to come in to a huge mess. They are easily bored as puppies and will destroy anything they can get their mouths on if left alone. If you can't have a dog in the house, consider if you really should get the dog.

When I was younger, our dog was an outside dog. We gave him alot of attention, but I will never have another outside dog again becasue I feel like he missed out on way too much. It wasn't my decision, but if you really do get a dog and leave him out of the house, PLEASE remember that they will be around for a long time, and you will have to be spending ALOT of time in the next 10-15 years outside with the dog.
 

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I am not sure who the dog will be spending his time with, but if the maority of his time is spent with school kids, keep in mind that as the kids get older and begin to mature, they will be spending the majority of their time with friends, not the dog. I am not sure from your posts exactly if that is the case, I just saw you mention kids and school, and that is one thing everyone needs to remember when they get a dog for their kids, or if they are a kid when they get a dog- whether or not that is your case- i'm not saying it is.

I'm NOT saying you would not be a good dog owner, but I have had an outside dog and I know how it is, and it's something I wouldn't ever do again. I just want you to consider everything before hand!! :)
 

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I can't imagine keeping a dog away from the family if it's at all possible to have them WITH the family.

Our girl has slept with us since she was six weeks old - no accidents at night AT ALL (we took her out every 3 hours for first several weeks). She is the most affectionate, loving dog I've ever known. She's family and I could no more imagine her as an outside dog than I would keep one of my children as an "outside kid". Her crate is inside and she does well in it. It's her "place".

I strongly recommend you re-think the 'outside dog' thing, especially with this breed.
 

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I think you'll miss more than you think with him in the garage, even some of the time. And kids aren't really the best trainers, nor will they catch behaviors that might need swift corrections. I'm with the others: crate. You'll all be better off in the long and short run.
 

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I changed Brewski's food Beneful and had nothing, but problems. His stomach became upset, his stools became quite loose. I immediately began to change him to something of more quality. A GSD or any Canine deserves to eat food that is good for them. Grocery store food might be convenient and a little less pricey then the pet stores, but in the long run quality food can save you money in vet bills for a sick GSD/dog.

Is this puppy is going to need loving, and protection. IMO if you want a GSD/dog that will remain outside and be comfortable with "Garage Living" then you need to look at a more mature GSD/dog that is used to that type of living. I still don't understand like others have said what is the point of having a GSD/dog if you are banishing it to live the majority of it's life on its own. Most business's that have guard dogs have the dogs in the building with them during their open hours. If I may be nosey.. Why do you want a GSD/dog that will be outside and in the garage only?
 

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Maverick, is this your very first dog? I ask because you are approaching this as if it is a new experience for you. We all had to start somewhere, and this forum can be a very good resource if you have an open mind - I truly wish it had been around many years ago when I got my first puppy, I believe I could have avoided a lot of pitfalls if it had been. That said, you are not always going to get the answers you might like or want. So at the risk of being unpopular I am going to say that what you are proposing for this little guy is fundamentally wrong. While he isn't a human baby, there are some very strong similarities at this age, the greatest being his total dependence on you to "learn the ropes", and to teach him how to be a member of the family. He will not feel like a member of the family if he is living - even part time - in a garage. He will not be properly potty trained if you allow him to go anywhere he wants in the garage or yard, without supervision. You have to set up a strict schedule and stick with it, for a number of months. If you don't, you will end up with a dog which cannot be trusted not to "go" in the house, and he will then most likely be banished outside for good. Your puppy is going to find the garage - or even the yard for that matter - a huge scary place. Imagine being that small - something which looks normal to you will be overwhelming to him. And he will be alone, for an unspecified time - not a good scenario for a baby which up until now has had the company of its Mom and siblings. (And please do not count on your other family members to do what is right for him - once the novelty has worn off you may find that they are too busy with their own lives to bother much.) That kind of stress can lead to health problems.

You need a plan - and we can help you with it. But I don't think you will find any support here for what you are proposing, you need to do a lot more research. Being the "parent" of a dog carries with it a great deal of responsibility, and you have to be very proactive in how you approach it. They need training, love and companionship, and this all takes time and effort. Just like a baby...........
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Well, they'll be with my siblings (2 younger brothers, and a younger sister) whenever they're out of school. The only time he'd be in his garage would be when we're all out at school.. Other than that, he'd be hanging out with us.
So he's not actually going to be an "outside dog", what you meant is that he'll be a house dog, but when everyone is gone he'll be confined to the garage? If so, I see nothing wrong with that as an option to crating in the house - that's exactly the setup I have for my dogs. They're crated in the bedroom with us at night, but when we're gone they go into a chainlink pen in the garage with a dog door to a secure outside run inside our (wood) fenced yard. When we're home, they're wherever they want to be - usually inside with us unless they ask to go out. Our garage pen is about 8 ft x 6 ft, so they have more space than they would in a crate, and we have Kuranda beds in there for them. They can hang out in comfort indoors and let themselves out to potty if they need to.

In order to make sure he doesn't potty in the garage, you'll have to housetrain him. Indoors = the house AND the garage. By portioning off a section of the garage, we can keep the dogs out of stuff, and since my hubby is a general contractor working out of our house, there is a lot of stuff they could get into.

As others have said Beneful is not a good food. In fact, any grocery store foods are not the best choice. What other stores do you have near you, either major chains like Petco or PetSmart, smaller local chains, or independent stores? We can help you choose a better food if we know what stores you're near.
 
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